The Invisible Web

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Posts Tagged ‘ACLU’

COINTELPRO Comes to My Town: My First-Hand Experience With Government Spies

Posted by invizweb on July 24, 2008

David Zirin writes the following account for the Huffington Post:

Finally, at long last, I have something in common with Muhammad Ali.

No, I’m not the heavyweight champion of the world, and haven’t been named spokesperson for Raid bug spray. Like “the Greatest” – not to mention far too many others — I have been a target of state police surveillance for activities — in my case against the death penalty — that were legal, non-violent, and, so we assumed, constitutionally protected. In classified reports compiled by the Maryland State Police and the Department of Homeland Security, I am “Dave Z.” This nickname was given by an undercover agent known to us as “Lucy.” She sat in our meetings of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, smiling and engaged, taking copious notes about actions deemed threatening by the Governor of Maryland, Robert Ehrlich. Our seditious crimes, as Lucy reported, involved such acts as planning to set up a table at the local farmer’s market and writing up a petition. Adding a dash of farce to this outrage, she was monitoring us in the liberal enclave of Takoma Park, Maryland, a place known more for vegans than violence, more for tie-dying than terrorism.

Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act and the ACLU, we now know that “Lucy” was only one part of a vast, insidious project. The Maryland State Police’s Department of Homeland Security devoted near 300 hours and thousands of taxpayer dollars from 2005 and 2006 to harassing people whose only crime was dissenting on the question of the war in Iraq and Maryland’s use of death row.

My dear friend Mike Stark, a board member of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty is at times referred to in “Lucy’s” report as a “socialist” and an “anarchist.” One can only assume this is the pathetic time honored tradition of reducing people to simple caricatures, all the better to garner Homeland Security grant money.

Veteran peace activist in Baltimore, Max Obuszewski, who initiated the suit, was as well consistently shadowed as he walked down the streets. His “primary crime” (their lingo) was entered into the homeland security database as “terrorism – anti govern(ment).” His “secondary crime” was listed as “terrorism — anti-war protesters.” The database is known as the Washington-Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, or HIDTA. Yes, a respected peace organizer of many decades standing is checked as a terrorist, his actions listed as criminal, for doing nothing more than exercising his rights. It boggles the mind.

Read more.

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Posted in Civil Liberties and Social Justice, Cryptopolitics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bush Is Sued Over New Domestic Spying Law

Posted by invizweb on July 14, 2008

Thanks to Gary Baddeley of Disinfo.

By Randall Mikkelsen for Reuters (Additional reporting by Edith Honan in New York; Editing by David Alexander and David Wiessler)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President George W. Bush signed a law on Thursday overhauling the rules for eavesdropping on terrorism suspects but immediately met a civil liberties challenge calling it a threat to Americans’ privacy.

“This law will protect the liberties of our citizens while maintaining the vital flow of intelligence,” Bush said at a White House ceremony to mark a rare legislative victory for the president during his last year in office.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit in Manhattan federal court as Bush signed the measure and called for the law to be voided as a violation of constitutional speech and privacy protections.

“Spying on Americans without warrants or judicial approval is an abuse of government power, and that’s exactly what this law allows,” ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero said in announcing the suit.

The action was filed on behalf of human-rights groups, journalists, labor organizations and others who say they fear the law will allow the U.S. government to monitor their activities, including compiling of critical reports on the United States.

Bush quickly signed the bill a day after Congress gave it final approval, with Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama dropping earlier opposition to vote for passage. Obama’s Republican rival, Sen. John McCain, has supported the bill but was absent for Wednesday’s vote.

Read more.

Posted in Civil Liberties and Social Justice, Current Events | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Rainbow Family of Living Light Attacked by Police and Federal Government with Pepper Spray and Rubber Bullets

Posted by invizweb on July 6, 2008

W(es) U(nruh) for Key 64 wrote:

I find the way the RFLL is covered in the various news articles fascinating:

Before Attack – News Coverage: ‘Om’-ing in Wyoming

Rainbow gathering inspires odd jurisprudence

Current News Reports:

400 members of Rainbow Family surround, attack federal officers
Forest Service officials stoned by hippie group allowed to displace Boy Scouts’ service project

ACLU plans to investigate Rainbow Family treatment

This has happened many times in the past. Here’s coverage from last year’s event:

On the highly acclaimed 17 years long running Jeff Davis Show, Deborah Stevens from the Three Shoes Posse Band interviews members of the Rainbow Family who were kidnapped at gunpoint, assaulted, tortured, falsely imprisoned in a chemically toxic environment, never even charged with a crime, then thrust out without shirts or shoes into a remote rural area by U.S. Federal Agents of the “National Incident Management Team” at the 2007 Rainbow Gathering in Arkansas.

More here.

Posted in Civil Liberties and Social Justice, Current Events, Philosophy & Religion & Spirituality | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »